"We had the joyous experience of a visit from Priscilla and her puppets on Thursday, the 22nd of January. The children (and the teachers) were delighted by the tales she told to our younger students and our many English language learners, the ways she invited the audience to participate in the telling and by Priscilla's sense of humor. We will definitely have Priscilla return to our school when she makes her bi-annual trip to Europe in 2017! "
Storytelling for schools, libraries and festivals
Here's some of what happens in my storytelling sessions:
- "Tell it again!" the younger kids call out, "tell it again!" They've joined in the telling, using their voices, bodies and minds to cocreate a satisfying story with me, be it a folktale, a story from a book or a true(ish) story from my life. They can't believe the puppets--how dare Trixie brush her hair with her toothbrush and why did the baby keep popping her binky out of her mouth?!
- We all experience quiet, that deep quiet when everybody is listening intently, nobody fidgets, when we're together in the story, imaginations engaged, breathing as one, wondering what will come next—even when the listeners predict, they wonder, they wait, then one or two laugh when the story clicks into place. Middle and upper elementary students drop their "too cool for school" attitudes when they understand that I chose these stories for them.
- University and high school students start out with cell phones nearby, ready to fill in time with a text or a game, but once I begin the stories, the phones go down, the listeners are present in the moment, surprised at the power and variety of the stories. Afterwards, they come up to talk, to continue the connection just a little longer.
- Families snuggle in together with full permission to relax, to let go of anything but the stories, songs and puppets. They drink in the sense of community and comfort that comes from active listening and laughing. Afterwards the children come to say goodbye to the puppets.
- Oh, and yes, laughing. Lots of laughing.